The search for new permanent host of Jeopardy! is officially over. The show’s executive producer Mike Richards has been named the new permanent host of the venerable syndicated game show, succeeding the late Alex Trebek. Additionally, Sony Pictures Television announced that The Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik will host Jeopardy!’s primetime and spinoff series, including the upcoming Jeopardy! National College Championship set to air on ABC next year. The Greatest of All Time winner Ken Jennings will return as consulting producer. All three served as guest hosts following Trebek’s death. Richards will remain executive producer on Jeopardy! — both the syndicated and primetime series — and Wheel Of Fortune.
“We are thrilled to begin the next chapter of America’s Favorite Quiz Show with Mike hosting our daily show and Mayim hosting new versions of Jeopardy!,” said Ravi Ahuja, Chairman of Global Television Studios and Corporate Development for Sony Pictures. “We took this decision incredibly seriously. A tremendous amount of work and deliberation has gone into it, perhaps more than has ever gone into the selection of hosts for a show – deservedly so because it’s Jeopardy! and we are following the incomparable Alex Trebek. A senior group of Sony Pictures Television executives pored over footage from every episode, reviewed research from multiple panels and focus groups, and got valuable input from our key partners and Jeopardy! viewers.”
Richards, who emerged as a frontrunner early in the search, was quietly appointed as the host of the syndicated program a couple of weeks ago while a deal with Sony Pictures Television was being finalized.
The final speed bump on Richards’ road to the Jeopardy! lectern was the reemergence of lawsuits from his decade-long tenure as co-executive producer/executive producer on another game show, The Price Is Right. Richards addressed the complaints by former models on the show in a memo to staff Monday.
“These were allegations made in employment disputes against the show,” he wrote. “I want you all to know that the way in which my comments and actions have been characterized in these complaints does not reflect the reality of who I am or how we worked together on The Price is Right.”
Richards, who has hosting experience, was well received by fans when he served as a guest host earlier this year along with a slew of celebrities who filled in for the beloved Trebek. The show’s longtime host lost his battle with cancer in November. Richards emerged as an early frontrunner alongside Jeopardy! champion — and first guest host — Jennings. They were later joined by LeVar Burton who became a sentimental favorite, landing the guest host spot following a grassroots campaign by fans and a petition that garnered 250K signatures.
“I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to host the syndicated version of Jeopardy!,” said Richards. “Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined being chosen to step into a role of this magnitude. Alex believed the game itself and the contestants are the most important aspects of the show. I was fortunate to witness his professionalism, intensity and kindness up close and that will serve as the ultimate blueprint as we continue to produce the show we love.”
Richards also welcomed Bialik. “I am thrilled that Mayim is joining the Jeopardy! team,” he said. “Her academic track record and enthusiasm for the game made her a terrific guest host. It will be a privilege to produce the primetime series with her as host.”
Richards was named an executive producer of Jeopardy! and Wheel Of Fortune in 2020 under a multi-year overall deal with SPT. A three-time Daytime Emmy Award winner and 17-time nominee, Richards also served as executive producer of Let’s Make a Deal. In front of the camera, Richards hosted Beauty and the Geek, Game Show Network’s 2016–17 version of Divided and the 2012 revival of The Pyramid. He is repped by UTA.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to join the Jeopardy! family,” Bialik said. “What started out with my 15-year-old repeating a rumor from Instagram that I should guest host the show has turned into one of the most exciting and surreal opportunities of my life! I’m so grateful and excited to continue to work with Mike Richards, and I’m just over the moon to join forces with him and Sony. After all the conversations we’ve had about this partnership, I am just so ready to get started!”
Bialik, who has a PhD in neuroscience, is best known for her award-winning role as Amy Farrah Fowler on the hit CBS comedy, The Big Bang Theory. Currently, Bialik is starring in Call Me Kat on Fox, which she also executive produces. She also is the host of the mental health podcast “Mayim Bialik’s Breakdown” and she recently wrote and directed her first feature, As Sick As They Made Us, starring Dustin Hoffman and Candice Bergen. Bialik is repped by WME.
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